23 février 2013

Outside the Classroom: eLearning Papers Special Edition 2013 published!

Outside the Classroom: eLearning Papers Special Edition 2013 published!We are proud to present the 4th Special Edition of eLearning Papers. This special edition puts the spotlight on last year’s highlighted papers selected by the editorial board according to the quality of the articles, and also taking into account the feedback from our readers.
As the integration of digital media and technology in education is a policy priority throughout Europe, this special issue brings together five articles that discuss the onging transformation in schools and institutions as well as the evolution towards Open Educational practices.
Innovating Teaching and Learning Practices: Key Elements for Developing Creative Classrooms in Europe an article by Stefania Bocconi, Panagiotis Kampylis and Yves Punie looks at how to innovate teaching and learning practices.
The Ageing Brain: Neuroplasticity and LifeLong Learning by Eleonora Guglielman examines the increasingly important role of adult education in comparison to the low participation observed in training activities. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:55 - - Permalien [#]

Africa’s Learning Landscape in 2013

Africa’s Learning Landscape in 2013How are new technologies changing the African learning landscape? Weigh in by taking a few minutes to complete the The eLearning Africa 2013 Survey. Participants who do so before February 20th, have a chance of winning a tablet computer. You can fill in the survey here, or email elareport@icwe.info.
This extensivepan-African survey will provide the basis for the eLearning Africa 2013 Report, to be presented at the eLearning Africa 2013 conference in Windhoek, Namibia, May 29-31, 2013. All those involved with learning technologies in Africa are encouraged to take part. The objective is to explore the development of locally-produced digital content, examine the challenges and opportunities that are shaping Africa's eLearning sector, and analyse the integration of learning technologies in Africa.
Last year's report considered the constraining effect that lack of bandwidth has on African eLearning, the importance of government as an agent of change, and the use of ICT to improve the quality of teaching. A free copy is available for download here. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:52 - - Permalien [#]

National student fee and support systems

National student fee and support systems 2011/2012
This new Eurydice report provides a detailed overview of the national public fee and support systems in place across European countries. The report contains key points which enable readers to have a good overall understanding of the topic while the national diagrams aim to show the main characteristics of each system. Download the report National student fee and support systems.

Approximately 70% of students pay fees
Approximately 30% of students receive social grants

- The amount of fees per year fixed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research is EUR 177 in the first cycle (L1, L2, L3) and EUR 245 in the second cycle (M1, M2). However, a number of universities have decided to add associated costs related to specific services (e.g. for diplomas related to continuing learning and training). In some public universities, the tuition fees can reach more than EUR 2 000/year.
- Fees in the grandes écoles and Engineering Schools vary, but the most common amount is EUR 584 per year. However, tuition fees in some of them reach up to EUR 13 500/year, depending on family income.
- Students who receive a grant (approximately 30% of the student population) are exempted from fees.
- Grants are awarded on the basis of financial need to students that are less than 28 years of age.
- The amount awarded for the need-based grant depends on the assessment of social criteria, and varies between EUR 1 606 and 4 600 per year. The merit-based grant ranges from EUR 1 800 to 6 102.
- Loans are also available, with a maximum amount of EUR 15 000, but less than 0.1% of university students take out such a loan.
- Parents are eligible for tax relief if students are financially dependent on them and are less than 25 years old. The amount of tax relief is proportional to the amount of taxable income of the household.
- Family allowances are paid for two or more dependent children that are under 20 years old. The minimum amount is EUR 127 per month and increases with the number of eligible children. An additional amount of EUR 63 per month is paid for every child that is aged 16-20 years.
Report reveals wide fluctuations in cost of higher education and support for students

The cost of higher education for students varies dramatically in Europe, according to a new report issued by the European Commission today. Tuition fees are highest in England, where students pay up to £9 000 (around €11 500) per academic year, while nine countries (Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Malta, Norway, UK (Scotland) and Sweden) do not charge fees in most cases. The Nordic countries tend to be the most generous, although Finland and Sweden recently joined Denmark in introducing fees for international students. All countries, except Iceland and Norway, now charge non-European students.
Many of the non-charging countries, such as Austria, UK (Scotland) and the Nordic countries, also provide generous student support such as maintenance grants and loans (see Highlights of the report). This information on tuition fees and support is now readily available online for students who want to compare the cost of their education in different European countries.
"I hope the fact that it is now easier for students to compare the cost of education in different countries will lead to increased student mobility and allow students to choose the course that is best for them"
said Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. "This report is both timely and important: it reminds us that modernised education and training is the bedrock of long-term prosperity for Europe and key for overcoming our economic difficulties."
The report highlights that major differences also exist with regard to student support, which is generous in Germany, the Nordic countries and the UK, while students in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania receive only limited financial support. There are also significant differences as to who is entitled to support: subsidies can be distributed on a needs-only basis or be readily available to all. Family allowances and tax benefits to parents of students are a significant element of the overall package of student support in around half of the countries.
Highlights of the report
Highest Fees

The highest fees are charged in the UK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). Until 2012 they were set at £3 375 per year for bachelors' courses. As of September 2012, this level increased in England to a new basic tuition fee of £6 000 and a maximum of £9 000. Students in England receive a loan to pay the fees and do not have to re-pay this until they are in relatively well-paid employment. In Wales, however, the additional cost of tuition fees for Welsh domiciled students will be met by the Welsh government, even if they study outside Wales. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, fees will rise only in line with inflation at £3 465 in 2012/13.
No Fees

At the other end of the scale, there are 9 countries where students (not including international students from outside the EU/EEA) are not charged fees. They are Austria, Cyprus (bachelors' level), Denmark (though part-time students are charged), Finland, Greece and Malta (bachelors' level), Norway, UK (Scotland) (bachelors' level) and Sweden.
In Germany, for the new academic year 2012/13, two Länder (Bavaria, and Lower Saxony) charge fees, while the other 14 do not.
Proportion of fee payers

The proportion of students who pay fees in each country ranges considerably. In a number of countries all students pay fees, and this is the case in Belgium (Flemish Community), Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, Iceland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Turkey. In seven countries (Belgium's French Community, Estonia, France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania) a majority pay fees. In four countries (Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Slovenia), a minority pay fees, and finally there are the 9 countries mentioned above where, apart from the exceptions mentioned, students do not pay.
International student fees

For students coming from outside the European Union, fee levels tend to be higher. They are generally set by higher education institutions themselves, although in some countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Portugal, Romania) there are central-level regulations governing fee levels.
In 6 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein and Norway) students from outside the European Union are treated in the same way regarding fees as those from within the European Union.
Differences in fees between cycles

Fees levels tend to be higher for Masters' level (second cycle) than for bachelors' level (first cycle), and fees are also charged to more students in the second cycle. In Greece, Cyprus, Malta and UK (Scotland), fees are charged in the second cycle but not in the first, while higher levels of fees are typically charged at Masters' level in Ireland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom (England, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Student support takes different forms and aims to meet different needs from country to country. However, the most common forms of support are grants and loans, which sometimes operate in conjunction (where the student receives loans and grants) and sometimes separately (student receives either a loan or a grant).
All countries, with the exception of Iceland and Turkey, provide some types of grant to at least some students. In Turkey there are fee reductions for some students, but no grants. There is a wide range of situations in other countries regarding the likelihood of receiving a grant.
In Denmark, Cyprus and Malta all students receive grants. In Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) the majority of students receive grants.
In the vast majority of countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, UK (Scotland), Slovakia, Spain) only a minority of students receive grants. The proportion varies from 1% of the student population in Greece to around 40% in Hungary.

While it may be theoretically possible for students to take out loans in all countries, they are considered as a main feature of student support systems if more than 5% of the student population takes out such a loan. This is the case in 16 countries: Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, the UK (all parts), Iceland, Norway and Turkey.
Other support: family allowances and tax benefits for parents of students

Student support systems may consider the student either as an individual or as a member of a family that may need support. In the Nordic countries, in particular, the student is considered as an individual, and it is the individual who receives support. However, in many other countries, support may depend on overall family circumstances, and some forms of support may be channelled to other members of the family rather than the student.
Family allowances and tax benefits play a significant role in student support in a number of countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia (tax benefits only), Greece, France, Ireland (tax benefits only), Italy (tax benefits only), Latvia (tax benefits only), Lithuania, Malta (tax benefits only), Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia (tax benefits only), Slovakia and Liechtenstein (tax benefits only).
The report is produced for the Commission by the Eurydice network, which consists of 38 national units based in the 34 countries participating in the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme (EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey). It is co-ordinated and managed by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. The review on student fees and support will be carried out annually from now on in order to take stock of changes.
For more information

The full report is available here.

Posté par pcassuto à 10:12 - - Permalien [#]

ETF to work closer with a key Euro-Mediterranean body

European Training FoundationMadlen Serban, director of the ETF, and Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso and Youssef Ali Abdelrahman, co-presidents of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) signed a Declaration of Intent in Brussels on 18 February 2013.
The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) is a consultative assembly which aims at bringing a regional and local dimension to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. It gathers 84 members from the EU and its 16 Mediterranean partners who are representatives of regions and local bodies holding a regional or local authority mandate.
ARLEM and the ETF within their respective mandates and in view of implementing their work programmes intend to promote:
- the sharing of relevant experiences and good practices in the area of multi-level governance and as regards the contribution of human capital development to cohesive territorial development in the partner countries where ETF is developing its project;
- the networking between local and regional authorities in the EU and partner countries in support to human capital development;
- the exchange of information in relation with the multi-level governance and regional and local development;
- the provision of ETF expertise for ARLEM resolutions and conclusions on aspects related to the area of human - the  participation of ARLEM in the projects related to multi-level governance initiated by the ETF.
The ETF and the ARLEM agreed to network, to regularly meet and exchange information on their work and contribute to each others activities and meetings.

Posté par pcassuto à 10:03 - - Permalien [#]

When MOOCs melt down

By Robert Talbert. Having a bad month, indeed. First it was this MOOC on “Fundamentals of Online Learning” that, ironically, had to be shut down for reasons involving the failure of online learning technology. Now it’s this course on “Microeconomics for Managers” in which the instructor, Richard McKenzie, walked away from the course.
You might argue that these two courses are the exceptions that prove the rule, since Coursera currently offers 222 courses, with more coming on the horizon and only two have melted down (at least publicly). Udacity did have a similar situation a while back, when a logic and discrete math course was cancelled before it began, due to “lack of quality”. Udacity does offer far fewer courses than Coursera at the moment, which makes this one “failure” stand out.
It raises the question – just how much thought is given to instructional design issues when MOOCs are drawn up? And a related question – how much peer review is given to MOOCs, and their professors, before they go public? Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:02 - - Permalien [#]

Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going?

By Michael Horn and Clayton Christensen. Everyone’s going MOOC-crazy these days. From frequent media coverage of online courses and platforms like Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy to discussions about the complexities and business models of online education, the excitement around MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has finally “bubbled” over. The question is not just whether MOOCs are going to disrupt traditional education, but how. Is it just about lower costs and access? Is it really going to be a Napster-like moment with entrenched “Teamsters in tweed” worried about the erosion of their research, publishing, and teaching?
This is where we can leave the realm of hype and commentary to draw on our own years of research into disruption theory. Because the curious thing about the MOOC wave of disruption is that the market leaders — not just upstarts from the edges — are the ones pioneering it. And that rarely happens. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:00 - - Permalien [#]

Beyond the Buzz, Where Are MOOCs Really Going?

By Michael Horn and Clayton Christensen. Everyone’s going MOOC-crazy these days. From frequent media coverage of online courses and platforms like Coursera, edX, Udacity, and Udemy to discussions about the complexities and business models of online education, the excitement around MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has finally “bubbled” over. The question is not just whether MOOCs are going to disrupt traditional education, but how. Is it just about lower costs and access? Is it really going to be a Napster-like moment with entrenched “Teamsters in tweed” worried about the erosion of their research, publishing, and teaching?
This is where we can leave the realm of hype and commentary to draw on our own years of research into disruption theory. Because the curious thing about the MOOC wave of disruption is that the market leaders — not just upstarts from the edges — are the ones pioneering it. And that rarely happens. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:00 - - Permalien [#]

The Most Thorough Description (to date) of University Experience with MOOC

By Phil Hill. One of the benefits of participating in an interactive event, such as the recent ELI Webinar that Michael and I led yesterday, is that the learning goes both ways. During the webinar, one of the participants shared a link for a report from Duke University on their first MOOC, Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach, delivered through Coursera in fall 2012. And what a find that was – this is the most thorough description I have yet seen from a university about their experience selecting, development, delivering and analyzing a MOOC. Kudos to Yvonne Belanger and Jessica Thornton, the authors.
What follows are some key excerpts along with some observations, but for anyone considering participation in one of the xMOOCs – read the whole report. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:58 - - Permalien [#]

Coursera Adds 29 Schools, 90 Courses And 3 New Languages To Its Online Learning Platform

Screen shot 2013-02-20 at 3.01.00 PMIt’s almost as if there’s an arms race in online education. Which MOOC platform can expand the fastest? Place your bets now. On the heels of edX’s announcement that it will be expanding internationally with the addition of six new schools (bringing its total to 12), Coursera is doing some addition of its own.
Today, the massive online course platform announced that 29 universities from around the globe have agreed to bring their courses online (for free) via Coursera. The new members will join the 33 institutions already on board, bringing Coursera’s grand total to 62. And, of course, just as edX was kicking back to celebrate its five new handpicked international members, Coursera announces that its updated roster just so happens to include 16 international institutions itself.
The international expansion of both Coursera and edX is a big win for international students, who (at least in Coursera’s case) now have access to courses in multiple languages, including French, Spanish, Chinese and Italian. Of course, international expansion is also an important part of the roadmap for edX and Coursera (and online learning sites like Lynda.com as well) and could be a boon for both, exposing a whole new audience of potential MOOC adopters to courses from some of the most reputed schools in the world. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:56 - - Permalien [#]

Course design and materials development guide

http://www.saide.org.za/design-guide/sites/all/themes/designguide/images/largehead.jpgThere are a number of general factors that impact on educators and their teaching. These include changes in funding formulas, scarcity of resources, increasing convergence between traditional distance education and traditional campus education, and the influence of technologies.
Course and materials design and development is a multi-layered, multi-faceted process. All of these factors play a part in the choices that are made for the planning and delivery of education. This Guide will help you to think about five questions in relation to a number of key issues – such as planning, content, context, learner support, structure, resources, learning, and assessment – in relation to course and materials design. The answers to the questions at the level of course design influence your answers in relation to materials design, and create a golden thread or a story-line between course and materials design and development. Whether you are designing learning materials for delivery in campus-based courses or fully online off-campus courses, or something in between, the broad design issues are similar.

Posté par pcassuto à 08:51 - - Permalien [#]